Author Topic: HP Touchpad Tablet  (Read 29452 times)

Brad

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HP Touchpad Tablet
« on: July 03, 2011, 12:17:26 PM »
I picked up an HP Touchpad a couple of days ago and thought I would jot down some impressions.  I have an iPad1 for comparison and I fondled an iPad2 in passing at a local retailer so I'm not an expert by any means.

1. Hardware: TP is the same size and weight as the iPad1.  iPad2 is slimmer and and lighter.

1a. TP has stereo speakers and iPad1 only a mono speaker.  TP sound quite good.

2. Speed: TP falls in between the iPad1 and iPad2.  It is noticeably faster than the iPad1 and all the tech reviewers say the iPad2 is a bit faster.

3. OS: webOS was made for a tablet.  I don't want to take anything away from Apple and iOS, but webOS is, IMO, and improvement.

The biggest thing is multitasking.  I never realized how limiting not being able to multitask was on my iPad until I got the TP in my hands but you can have many web pages and many apps open and running at one time. Nice.

I like the virtual keyboard on the TP better.


4. Browser: the stock TP browser is better than Safari.  It's faster than iCab.  It runs Flash pretty well.  The browser is important to me since that is what I will use the TP for most.

5. Apps: 300 tablet specific apps at launch.  They have most of the basics here.  The Amazon Kindle app is a placeholder while they work on it - disappointing but at least it is coming.  Email is good, calender is good. Skype is built in but I have not used it.  You also can use about 4000 webOS phone apps. which appear small screened.  For example Pandora Radio is a small screen but the interface is so simple there is no reason to make it larger - it works just fine.

TP vs. Android vs. iPad: Just based on reading I would say that TP beats Android tablets running Honeycomb right from the start. Better interface, more tablet specific apps, multitasking, speed.  

iPad2 is still a front runner.  However, if you are wary of getting into Apple's walled garden approach then HP starts looking like a good alternative:

1. OTA updates for TP.  You don't need to connect to computer or iTunes for OS updates.

2. USB file transfer. I've not tried this yet but I'm told that the TP shows up as a drive when connected to computer via USB.  You can just drag files into appropriate folders on your TP.  Again no iTunes acting as gatekeeper.

3. Linux core to OS.

4. HP allows third party patches to the GUI to extend capabilities and "homebrew" apps in addition to official apps in the catalog.  

Bottom line: I like the interface a lot. I love multitasking. No regrets on buying it and I think it is worth putting on your short list if you are shopping for a tablet.

Added:

Here is the most comprehensive (long) review of the TP I've read yet:

http://www.precentral.net/review-hp-touchpad
« Last Edit: July 03, 2011, 12:19:16 PM by Brad »

I, Brian

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Re: HP Touchpad Tablet
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 07:02:50 PM »
Good comments - am keeping an eye out on the newer pads. The iPad I have is nice ... except that I only seem to use it for playing Angry Birds, in having never really lived in Apple land before.

Samsung has a 10" tablet may be worth a look. Not sure why HTC brought out a 7" - too small IMO.

Brad

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Re: HP Touchpad Tablet
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2011, 11:19:01 AM »
After playing with it some more:

The rubbery sleeve came in and that was a big improvement since I was always afraid the thing would slip out of my hands.

The hardware is well built but no earth shaker. But the software is really quite good. Some roughness around the edges but that can be cleared up with updates.  In re the interface: iOS has a rival.

I'm finding for serious web surfing, I'm liking the TouchPad over the iPad.  While iCab browser greatly improved the web on iPad, the whole way webOS deals with web pages as individual cards, and cards in stacks just seems to work faster for me.  Multitasking helps too.

rcjordan

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Re: HP Touchpad Tablet
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2011, 02:51:09 PM »
OuchPad: Best Buy Sitting on a Pile of Unsold HP Tablets
http://allthingsd.com/20110816/ouchpad-best-buy-sitting-on-a-pile-of-unsold-hp-tablets/

When they hit Woot for $100, ping me.

4Eyes

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Re: HP Touchpad Tablet
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2011, 04:42:00 PM »
What on earth did they do wrong?
The product seems fine as far as I can see.

Too late to market?
Are people seeing the future as just an Apple/Android choice?

rcjordan

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Re: HP Touchpad Tablet
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2011, 05:14:35 PM »
App stores are the tail wagging the dog now. I've considered giving some color nooks as gifts to the grandkids but having an ipad or maybe a galaxy is sort of a social experience via common apps.

Brad

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Re: HP Touchpad Tablet
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2011, 09:22:13 PM »
They pooched the chute on the launch.  HP should never have left anyone from Palm launch a product - ever.

The OS was a little rough around the edges. About a month later they pushed out an update that fixed it.  Stuff like the Kindle app was just a placeholder for the first few weeks and didn't actually work.  My 16GB TouchPad is great.  Still lacks apps, but the browser runs Flash pretty well so for a lot of things you don't need apps.  The Touchpad compares well vs. the original iPad.  iPad2 beats it though, slimmer, faster, smoother, more apps. While HP/Palm was screwing around they got lapped by Apple.

In the mean time they are dinking around screwing up the webOS phone launch.

However if HP can stay in the game long term, the Touchpad can become a viable rival in the tablet wars.  I don't think HP has much choice, with laptop sales slowing, they need a tablet.

I, Brian

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Re: HP Touchpad Tablet
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2011, 11:11:27 AM »
HP Touchpad now selling for around 350, which isn't bad, but the lack of apps has to be a real concern, hence why just ordered a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

However, the HP Touchpad does look good - but I think it really needs to do something to address the apps issue. My big interest is eBooks and in ePublishing, and this tends to be apps driven.

Brad

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Re: HP Touchpad Tablet
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2011, 12:24:28 PM »
Brian, Kindle app works now. And there is another basic ebook reader for public domain type books called pReader.  New apps, scaled for the tablet are rolling out each week.

You have two other resources:

1. Many of the older smartphone apps also work just fine on the tablet. (eg. Pandora) they just don't fill the screen.

2. webOS allows legal "jailbreaking"  You can legally add a patch that allows you to actually extend the capabilities of the OS and the core apps (like calendar) with patches provided by the community. I think there are Homebrew apps too, but I have not messed with this.

I think Touchpad is sort of going through the same process Android did in smartphones early on in comparison to iPhone.  Might be worth grabbing one at a discount price.

Brad

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Re: HP Touchpad Tablet
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2011, 08:29:11 PM »
and then it crushed to death by HP!

http://mashable.com/2011/08/18/hp-shutting-down-webos/

Yeah, I just heard about it.  It looks like HP is getting out of the webOS hardware business (which frankly they are not very good at).  But there is a chance they might license out webOS to somebody who really knows how to make hardware tablets and phones. Frankly, Google buying Motorola makes webOS more attractive in this regard rather than less.

rcjordan

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Re: HP Touchpad Tablet
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2011, 09:34:17 PM »
When they hit Woot for $50, ping me.

Brad

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Re: HP Touchpad Tablet
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2011, 01:50:07 PM »
Looks like BestBuy US is extending their return policy on Touchpads only, to 60 days.  I may look into this since as much as I like webOS, I hate getting stuck with orphaned hardware AND OS.

I suspect I'll get store credit at best so I may have to look into a Samsung Galaxy Tab.  Jeez, I'm slowly getting borged by Android and Goog.

rcjordan

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Re: HP Touchpad Tablet
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2011, 03:18:30 PM »
I picked up 4 at the local walmart.  I'm going to give a couple to my daughters and keep one on the kitchen counter (retiring the last laptop doing "wherever RC sits" duty).

Bring me up to speed on webos.  Are there any must-have apps?

4Eyes

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Re: HP Touchpad Tablet
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2011, 04:01:34 PM »
There is talk in the Android forums of porting Android over - apparently, it seems quite possible due to shared heritage etc....  one group claim to have started on the port already.

rcjordan

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Re: HP Touchpad Tablet
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2011, 06:02:22 PM »
This is a fine piece of work.  Already, I can see that it has a few advantages over the iPad.  Now I'm really puzzled as to why HP took such a draconian step to dump them.